If you spend Christmas in Ireland, you'll experience the Spirit of the season everywhere you go.
Christmas in Ireland is a truly unique experience, especially for Americans who have never been there before.
In Ireland Christmas just feels more solemn and spiritual than in America. Even a walk through the bustling streets of Dublin or Belfast feels different.
You can hear echos of the past and feel the spirit of Christmas in Ireland like you have never felt it before.
After so many years of having their religious customs oppressed, the Irish held even tighter to them. It was even more important to pass these beliefs, rituals, symbols, and customs down from one generation to the next.
At Christmas in Ireland, you never forget that "Jesus is the reason for the season". The evidence is everywhere.
Click here to discover the meaning behind Ireland's Christmas traditions
What are the practical benefits
of spending Christmas in Ireland?
With colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours, many shy away from Christmas in Ireland. But Ireland winters are actually fairly mild, and you'll be amazed at how much money you save by coming in the off-peak season.
With fewer people travelling to Ireland in the Winter, you'll have a big advantage if you like lower airfares, reduced accommodation expenses, and smaller crowds.
After all, one of the drawbacks of a summer Ireland vacation is that so many other people are touring Ireland at the same time you are...you spend a good portion of your time in Ireland waiting in lines and eating in crowded restaurants and pubs.
True, many tourist attractions in Ireland close their doors in the Winter, or only open them on weekends.
But the best places never close...the landscapes, the coastlines, the hundreds of ancient monoliths.
The grass is always greener in Ireland, after all. And the temperatures might surprise you. It's not always as cold as you might expect, especially in the Southern regions.
Just a few of the places in
Ireland that never "close"...
- The Cliffs of Moher
- The Ring of Kerry
- The Dingle Peninsula
- Poulnabrone dolmen
- The Burren
- The Lakes of Killarney
Just some of the places
open year-round in Ireland...
- Blarney Castle
Just 8 mi. Northwest of Cork, in Southern Ireland. The legendary Blarney Stone is awaiting your kiss...if you dare!
- Cahir Castle
One of the largest and best preserved castles in Ireland.
- King John's Castle
Experience 800 years of history in the heart of medieval Limerick, brought to life through animation and interactive effects.
- Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Castle is one of the finest surviving examples of an Irish tower house. Although it is hard to believe that the castle has had a bloody and violent history.
Its strategic position on the river Shannon made it the centre of many a battle, and it has it has been destroyed and re-built on at least eight occasions.
It has been furnished with the finest collection of Medieval furniture in the country, thus preserving a vital part of the Celtic heritage.
The Folk Park adjoins the castle and aims to show what everyday life was like in rural Ireland about 100 years ago. It contains reconstructed farmhouses, cottages and shops, and care has been taken to make them as authentic as possible, particularly with regard to furnishings.
The Park is a living museum. Animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched.
You may visit an Irish farmhouse, watch the blacksmith fit a horseshoe, attend a weaving demonstration, and bake and eat scones at the local tea house. It reminds me of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. It's like you've stepped back in time. Truly surreal.
What other events are going
on during Christmas in Ireland?
Christmas Events in Dublin Ireland
When you spend Christmas in Ireland this year, be sure to schedule at least one of these festive events:
- The Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol", will be playing nightly at 8:00 PM from November 24 through New Year's Day at the Gate Theatre. Ticket Prices are €16.00 - 27.00.
- At the National Gallery of Ireland, you can experience the Christmas Family Art Holiday from December 27 through December 29 between the hours of 3:00-4:00 PM. This is a free event which includes family art workshops, talks for adults and music in the Atrium. No booking is necessary, but you'll need to bring along your own colors and sketchbooks to participate.
- In the Temple Bar district of Dublin, celebrate Christmas in Ireland without breaking the bank. Come to the Penny Bridge Inn for the Battle of the Axe for only €6 per person, you will enjoy Dublin's cutting edge comedians, musicians, poets, actors and more. Come any Tuesday night at 9:30 PM. and get ready to have a stomping good time!
- The National Trust offers many opportunities to experience the best of Ireland in the midst of the holiday season. This organization works to protect and preserve the land's coastlines, landscapes, and historical sites.
At Christmastime, they boast some of the most magical of decorated homes, gift shops, and restaurants. Doors of these festive homes are open to the public for many holiday events. And many of the gardens and parks under the National Trust's care are also open for a leisurely walk in a winter wonderland.
You can use their online search to find places to visit near you, entering the date you wish to visit under 'Opening times'. Or you can use their online searchable events list, which gives a comprehensive guide to events taking place over the Christmas season, including special Christmas meals.
- The National Museum of Ireland
The nation's premier cultural institution open every Tuesday through Saturday, closing only on Christmas Day and Good Friday. With collections dating back thousands of years, you can't beat the price...it's free. They have three locations in Dublin and one in County Mayo.
Book Your Christmas in Ireland Today
Vagabond 3 Day Christmas Adventure in Ireland
Vagabond is offering a unique opportunity to join a small group adventure to the west of Ireland, to celebrate Christmas in time-honoured Irish fashion. Getting away from the bustling cities and heading for the beautiful Irish countryside, you will spend three days exploring the Atlantic Coastline, The Connemara Region, The Beaches of Mayo and the off-shore islands.
These are all places where the natural beauty and traditional way of Irish life have been left virtually untouched, and only Vagabond can take you to their hidden corners.
Find the best deal on Ireland vacation packages, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
1 2 Travel also has several special packages to help you spend Christmas in Ireland.
Special Christmas Package at The Davenport Hotel
The Davenport Hotel, in the heart of bustling Dublin, offers elegant two or three night Christmas packages. Relax and enjoy the hospitality that is next to none at this luxurious hotel, complete with a restaurant serving renowned International cuisines.
Special Christmas Package at Hayfield Manor
Christmas at Hayfield Manor, one of Cork's best kept secrets, is renowned for excellent comfort, service and hospitality - the perfect location for celebrating Christmas in Ireland in true traditional five star luxury and style. We hope you will join Cork's leading hotel over the festive season, where all the staff are waiting to extend a warm welcome and to assist you in creating your own special memories of Christmas.
Christmas and New Year at Mount Juliet Estate
Enjoy the comfort and luxury of one of the most luxurious hotels in Ireland and spend a memorable Christmas and New Year at Mount Juliet.
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